Governor Murphy announces additional aid to the Coronavirus Relief Fund in front of A-List Hair Studio in North Brunswick on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 (Edwin J. Torres/Governor’s Office).

New Jersey COVID-related benefits total $12.4 billion in the past 19 weeks

Last week’s final payment for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), showed New Jersey residents received more than a half-billion-dollars.

Although the FPUC benefits ended, the state of New Jersey says it will continue to make back payments for recipients. 

“State and federal unemployment benefits continue to be a vital wage replacement source for so many of our colleagues, friends and neighbors,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “While these benefits are providing a safety net for countless families, we are reminded everyday that some are continuing to have issues with their claims. We are throwing every resource we have at these complicated outstanding claims, and working to get everyone a determination quickly.”

About 840,000 people claimed the FPUC benefit last week, but New Jersey, like other states, are experiencing a chronic backlog. Due to reduced staff and offsite working since the coronavirus pandemic, even unemployment offices are struggling to work at full capacity.

Another issue with New Jersey is its filing system, a data processing implemented in the 1970s. Early in the crisis, the state put out a request for coders who knew COBOL. Since, state officials reported that they put in more staff and equipped them with laptops to work more efficiently from home.

“I feel it in the pit of my stomach for every worker’s claim we haven’t gotten to yet,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Our entire staff empathizes with your frustration and uncertainty. That’s why we have been working around the clock to find solutions to common problems weighing on the system.”

Recently, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced additional aid to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

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